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Sports Analytics and Data Science: Winning the Game with Methods and Models by Thomas W. Miller

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4. Predicting Scores

“You know what the difference between hitting .250 and .300 is? It’s 25 hits. Twenty-five hits in 500 at-bats is 50 points. OK? There’s six months in a season. That’s about 25 weeks. That means if you get one extra flare a week. Just one. A gork. You get a ground ball with eyes. You get a dying quail. Just one more dying quail a week, and you go to Yankee Stadium.”

—KEVIN COSTNER AS CRASH DAVIS IN Bull Durham (1988)

Sporting events take place in a public arena. We know the managers and players. We know their salaries, and we have extensive information about their performance. We know who wins, and we know who loses. The data are available and easily accessible. These data, both text and numbers, come to us in time and place. ...

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